SALT LAKE CITY — This year's Pioneer Day may seem a bit somber, as many traditional parade, rodeos and other activities won't be happening as scheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. But there are plenty of ways for Utah families to explore the state's pioneer heritage safely, and perhaps none better than to visit Utah's historic pioneer sites in person.
Check each site's webpage to see what COVID-19 restrictions or requirements may be imposed. Otherwise, be safe, have fun and happy learning!
Cove Fort, Millard County
Cove Fort is located between Beaver and Fillmore in south-central Utah. It is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19; however, this was an important historic stop for travelers, telegraph lines and even the Pony Express, and is a worthwhile trip for anyone looking to learn more about the early days of rural Utah.
In southeastern Utah, the town of Bluff provides easy access to many of the state's most beautiful outdoor landscapes and is near many ancient Native American dwellings, as well as art and artifacts. It also contains Bluff Fort and the Bluff Historic District, showcasing early pioneer settlement of the area.
Moyle Park, Alpine
In the city of Alpine, Moyle Park serves as a tribute to the pioneer whose homestead once sat on those lands, John Rowe Moyle. The park includes several historic structures, including a watchtower Moyle built. Moyle served as a stonecutter for the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Provo's Pioneer Village includes several original structures built by early settlers in the mid-19th century, including the Turner Cabin, the Haws Cabin, the Loveless Home, a granary, schoolhouse, wood shop, outhouse. The village also contains pioneer wagons, a general store, pioneer artifacts and games for kids. It will be hosting 50 visitors at a time on Pioneer Day.
Ensign Peak, Salt Lake City
One of the most well-known pioneer-related destinations in Utah, Ensign Peak towers over the Salt Lake Valley and provides spectacular views. It also served as a spot to survey the land when the Latter-day Saints arrived in 1847; Brigham Young himself climbed to the top shortly after arriving and gave the peak its name, saying the new city would serve as an "ensign" to the nations.
Miles Goodyear Cabin, Ogden
Mountain Man Miles Goodyear built his cabin near Ogden in 1845, two years before the Latter-day Saints entered the territory. It is considered the first permanent, non-Native structure built in Utah, and has been relocated from its original site to the Weber County Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum.
Fielding Garr Ranch, Antelope Island
Structures at the Garr Ranch were continuously inhabited from 1848 to 1981. The ranch is located on Antelope Island, which was originally used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to manage its herds. The Garr Ranch continued to operate under several owners, with various livestock, until the island became a state park in 1981.
Camp Floyd State Park Museum, Fairfield
Camp Floyd was home to the U.S. Army in the years just before the American Civil War, when federal officials thought a troop presence was necessary to quell the so-called Mormon Rebellion. "Camp followers soon increased the population of Camp Floyd and Fairfield to 7,000, making it the third largest city in the Utah territory," the park site reads. "At their height, Camp Floyd was the largest military installation in the United States." The park also includes a historic inn, schoolhouse and cemetery.